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Budapest Jewish Quarter

You cannot leave Budapest without visiting the Jewish part of the city. Here I tell you all the categories of tours available; which, I am sure, make up more than you could imagine at first.

Katherine Betances

Katherine Betances

7 min read

Budapest Jewish Quarter

Corner of the Jewish Quarter | ©Istvan

Erzsébetváros, in District VII is better known in popular slang as the Jewish Quarter of Budapest; although it is the smallest district it is undoubtedly the liveliest.

However, the fact that it is a small district should not discourage you in the least - on the contrary! Its size is perfect to explore it completely, dedicating, at most, half a day of your day. This means that, whether you are in Budapest for one day or two days, below you will find the tours you should consider to know the most important of this historic area of the city. Let's start!

1. Classic tour through the Jewish Quarter of Budapest.

Inside the Great Synagogue| ©Heracles Kritikos
Inside the Great Synagogue| ©Heracles Kritikos

Among the basic things to see and do on a first visit to Budapest is the classic excursion to learn about the city's Jewish history and heritage and this is that kind of tour. You will be able to find alternatives that include English speaking guides but keep in mind that spots fill up quickly so the smartest thing to do is to book as far in advance as possible.

What do these tours include?

This is an activity that is done in small groups; guided by an expert guide you will take a walking tour of the most important and significant Jewish heritage sites in this Hungarian city.

The itinerary may vary depending on the company you hire, however some of the tours you can expect to see include: Exploring the Great Synagogue (the second largest in the world), visiting the Jewish Museum, visiting the Holocaust Cemetery, visiting the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park. Generally the tour includes entrance fees to the museums and synagogues on the itinerary.

Useful information

  • Price: The most economical options are available starting at 32€ per person.
  • Duration of the tour: This is a half-day tour that usually takes 3 to 4 hours to complete depending on the itinerary and the stops included.
  • Recommended if... You want a quick and inexpensive way to get to know the most relevant aspects of Jewish culture.

Book your Jewish Quarter tours

2. Private tour of the Jewish Quarter of Budapest

Óbuda Synagogue| ©Alejandro Castro
Óbuda Synagogue| ©Alejandro Castro

The history of the city of Budapest has been marked by being one of the European cities with one of the largest Jewish communities; this is why taking a completely private tour that takes you through the Jewish heritage of the city, including its neighborhoods, monuments and historical sites is a truly enriching experience.

The experience of a private tour goes far beyond the possibility of avoiding uncomfortable crowds, since you will also have a free bar to ask all the questions you want and suggest your own stops at places of interest; you just need to talk to the company before paying.

What do these tours include?

One of the distinctive aspects of this tour is the private guide in your language who will take you on a historical tour that usually includes several of the following stops: visit the two main Jewish ghuetos of the city; visit the most important synagogues such as the Great Synagogue, the Óbuda Synagogue and the Dohán Synagogue; a visit to other sites such as the Jewish Museum and the Holocaust Cemetery could also be included.

Useful information about the Jewish Quarter

  • Price: Private tours average around 215€. Groups of up to 4 or 5 people are usually allowed so it is ideal when visiting with friends.
  • Duration of the excursion: You should reserve 3 to 4 full hours for this type of excursion.
  • Recommended if... You are a true history buff and want to know first hand interesting details that a generic tour will not be able to offer you.

Book your Jewish Quarter tours

3. Gastronomic tour of the Jewish Quarter of Budapest

Tasting in Budapest| ©Carla
Tasting in Budapest| ©Carla

It is impossible to leave Budapest without living the gastronomic experience of the Jewish Quarter of the city; well known in Hungary and nearby countries for its capacity of reinvention.

After the turn of the century, the traditional Jewish-Hungarian cuisine of this area of the country sought to renew itself by mixing with modern concepts, to create a fresh proposal that has captured the attention of locals and tourists alike. But to really understand what I'm talking about it's not enough to read about it, you have to try it for yourself!

What do these tours include?

The gastronomy and culture experience in the Jewish Quarter relies on a guide who is mainly an expert in gastronomic matters; this person takes a small group of tourists through the main ghettos telling them the history of the neighborhoods but focusing mainly on the culinary offerings.

Tastings are included in the price so don't eat before the tour!
As an added bonus you will be able to see from the outside the four major synagogues and also the fantastic street art murals that permeate the area.

Useful information about the Jewish Quarter

  • Price: The price to pay for this experience is approximately 88€ per person.
  • Duration of the excursion: Excursions of this type usually last about 4 hours on average.
  • Recommended if... you are one of those super curious travelers who plan their excursions prioritizing the gastronomic offer of the destinations you visit. you will love this experience from beginning to end!

Book your Jewish Quarter tours

4. Budapest Jewish Quarter Tour with Danube River Cruise

Hungarian Goulash| ©Csaba Nagy
Hungarian Goulash| ©Csaba Nagy

When you have a reduced travel itinerary the best way to save time is to combine experiences; with this type of tour you can combine the classic pass through the Jewish Quarter of Budapest with the classic cruise on the waters of the Danube and do it in the same period of time.

How does this work? The guides reduce the city walks to the essential and most important aspects of the city so that you can get to know the general and most interesting aspects. In this type of excursion you do not expect, for example, to explore the interior of the synagogues or museums.

What do these tours include?

The companies offering this type of service generally divide the experience into two main blocks:
First a walking tour of Erzsébetváros where you can explore the most important monuments of Jewish culture in Hungary. This includes visiting the Raul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park; and the most prominent synagogues. In the process you will pick up and get to know the main ghettos.

This is followed by a cruise adventure of approximately 1.5 hours on the waters of the Danube, whose breathtaking views are among the best in Europe. Depending on the company, a buffet lunch with drinks can be included on board.

Useful information

  • Price: The most economical price for this type of experience is around 90€ per person.
  • Duration of the excursion: The tour of the Jewish Quarter usually takes at least 2.5 hours and the cruise 1.5 hours. In total you should reserve half a day for this experience.
  • Recommended if... You are looking to save time and money on your tour of Budapest, by combining the experience you can see the best of the city in half a day without spending too much money. It is ideal for travelers in a hurry who will be one or two days in Budapest.

Book your Jewish Quarter tours

5. Short tour to the Jewish Quarter to visit the Great Synagogue

Interior of the Dohány Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter| ©Ramón Cutanda López
Interior of the Dohány Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter| ©Ramón Cutanda López

In your tour of Budapest, you have the opportunity to go to the Jewish area of Erzsébetváros just to visit the complex of the Dohány Synagogue, nicknamed as the Great Synagogue because it is the largest Jewish temple in Europe and the second largest in the world. It is an impressive work of Moorish architecture, where in its facade you can see clear influences of French Gothic.

What do these tours include?

The most interesting aspect of this excursion is the entrance without queues to the Great Synagogue, in addition to the accompaniment of a guide in your language. It is important to know that the Dohány Synagogue is a complex of elements, so that inside you can see not only a religious temple but also the Jewish-Hungarian Cemetery and the famous Emmanuel Tree of Life.

Useful information about the Jewish Quarter

  • Price: 20€ approximately
  • Duration of the tour: Approximately 1 hour or less.
  • Recommended if... You have done other tours in the list and you are interested in getting to know this monument in depth.

Book your Jewish Quarter tours

6. Budapest Jewish Quarter and Ruin Pubs night tour

Budapest Ferris wheel| ©Dimu G
Budapest Ferris wheel| ©Dimu G

This is a tour to explore the darker side of the history of the Jewish Quarter in the post-war era; the exploration of the area is made very enjoyable by combining the experience with an adventure to the famous Ruin Pubs of Budapest. It is ideal for all those who are visiting Budapest for the first time and want to soak up the dynamism and nightlife fun that this part of the city has to offer.

What do these tours include?

A local guide takes a small group of tourists through the best Ruin Pubs of District VII; in the bars you will visit you will be greeted with a welcome drink to start enjoying the nightlife surrounded by locals. The tour usually involves visiting 3 or 4 different bars, while learning about the history of the ghettos.

In addition to learning about the most important historical aspects of post-war Budapest, on the way between bars the guide in charge of the tour will most likely show you the public squares where the locals live; he will also take you to the most prominent street art galleries.

Useful information

  • Price: This type of experience is usually available from 75 euros per participant.
  • Duration of the excursion: You will need to reserve about 4 hours of your evening for this excursion.
  • Recommended if... You are visiting the city for the first time and want to know more about the Ruin Pubs, how they came about and what makes them so special. All told by a local who has experienced firsthand the evolution of this area of the city.

Book your Jewish Quarter tours